How much are apparel brands letting their suppliers steal from workers in India?
“If we had got the wage increase, we could have at least eaten vegetables a few times a month. Instead, I have only fed my family rice and chutney.”
– A woman worker in Karnataka, India
In April 2020, a minimum wage increase went into effect in the Indian state of Karnataka, one of the country's largest centers of garment manufacturing. Garment factory owners producing for leading apparel brands have refused to pay. As a result, 400,000 garment workers across over a thousand factories have been cheated of the legal minimum wage.
Workers report that the impact of not receiving this increase has been concrete and significant: reduced access to food staples, lost housing, lost schooling for their children.
This is the worst wage theft the WRC has ever documented in the global garment industry.
Brands are aware of the theft and are allowing it to continue.